The new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is mandated by the healthcare reform law passed earlier this year. The center will focus on improved payment and delivery systems as part of overall efforts to cut costs. Congress allotted $10 billion to pay for the pilot initiatives, of which CMI is a part.
The new center will adhere to certain health IT principles, said Don Berwick, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies. They include: improving safety, effectiveness, timeliness, and eliminating racial and economic barriers to healthcare.
Berwick said healthcare costs could be reduced without “harming a hair on anyone’s head,” at an event at the Brookings Institution, FNR.com reports.
“It is about the reduction of cost through improvement, and that’s the modern view of the approach to that aim,” he added.
Farzhad Mostashari, of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Policy at HHS, said details remained to be worked out, but the center’s mission is important.
If healthcare reform is a trampoline, Mostashari said, then CMI is the fabric, providing a jumping-off point for future initiatives.